Fine Pearls

Classic Pearls

Leather & Pearls

Bridal Pearls

Bespoke Pearls

Just For You

Choosing Pearls

Types of Pearls

Taking Care of Pearls

Sustainably Sourced Pearls

A Magical Trip to Mexico

  • 3 min read

A Magical Trip to Mexico

Take a flight time of over 10 hours, add in a total distance of 5,200 miles, some intrepid exploring mix in a dose of nostalgia and history. What is the result? Our founder Chrissie Douglas and husband Andrew’s recent trip to the Gulf of California in search of the Butterfly Oyster Pearls, which will be on sale for the first time in London this year at Coleman Douglas Pearls.

Setting off from London, Chrissie and Andrew travelled to the Sonoran coast, after a wonderful journey through the sun drenched, cactus dotted Sonoran Desert. Greeted by the deep, inviting blue and turquoise hues of the Baja California Sea,  Chrissie and Andrew met with four marvellously passionate marine Biologists.

Formed in 1996 with the objective of beginning a commercial cultivation of the “Butterfly Oyster” [Pteria sterna oyster] also known as “Rainbow lipped Pearl Oyster”The farm in question consists of a small group of specialist marine biologists who are experts in the cultivation of these bivalve mollusks.  Their experience in the experimental cultivation of other species like oysters, the “lion’s paw scallop” (Lyropecten subnudosus), and the “catarina scallop” (Aequipecten circularis) motivated them to begin this commercial adventure, blending centuries old practices with advanced technology and research.

If you’d like to learn more about Rainbow Lipped Oyster Pearls, watch this video…


The company harvests half pearls or mabés, cultured pearls and Keshi pearls.  All these have a fundamental characteristic, the quality and pale colours of their mother pearl that has distinguished the nativePteria sterna pearls from the Gulf of California. These pearl farmers make extraordinary  efforts to guarantee that the final product has the best quality, with good nacre coating. They take great care of the oysters so that after implanting the animals, nature creates its own miracle: the pearls.


Mexico also represents a personal connection to our founder, as she grew up and spent much of her youth in the district of Coyoacan in Mexico City, once Home to one of the best-known worldwide icons within Mexico, painter Frida Kahlo.  The trip to Mexico saw Chrissie and Andrew wander the stone washed streets of Coyoacan again, visiting local markets, meeting old school friends at a special reunion and visiting La Casa de La Torre in Cuernavaca, where the works of her father are displayed. 

What makes these ethically sourced and sustainable pearls so attractive is not just their luster or beauty. The operation ran by this Butterfly Oyster farm guides the entire process from seeding to growth and finally handpicked harvesting by the local workers from a former Yaqui neighborhood. These workers inherit in their blood the well-known strength of the Yaqui tribe. Indeed, it was during harvest season when Chrissie Douglas, our pearl Jewellery designer, and her husband, Andrew, arrived and they had the opportunity to take part in the harvest; a truly a once in a lifetime experience. The unrefined, vibrant scenery juxtaposed with the delicate harvest of the pearls. The gentle swell cascading over the rocky coast, the warming salty breeze from the tropical sea and the local seagulls and pelicans all transported our team to another world and another time. 

The magic of their journey, which hasn’t ended just yet, will be on display as we proudly bring the Butterfly Oyster Pearls to London in our handmade jewellery. It will be the very first time these iridescent orbs will be sold in the United Kingdom.

For more information on our pearl jewellery, contact our team or on : + 44 (0) 207 373 3369. 


Searching for pearl jewellery but need advice?

A tailored online or in-person consultation ensures your pearls match your style and budget perfectly.